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View Full Version : hope this isn't Tennis Elbow


ProgressoR
02-16-2010, 12:56 PM
I started playing 3 months ago. 1hBH was useless. Had lessons from last week. Had 6 lessons in about 10 days. Hitting 2-300 balls mainly on TSpin. I have a full stroke with long take back and follow through. Eastern BH grip. Big low to high action lots of TSpin. Outside of elbow is painful. Hurts sometimes lifting a book. Its bearable but not nice.

Could this just be fron overworking muscles I didn't use before? Or should I assume its TE?

Have heard reference to elbowing the bh but what does this mean?

I was using multi string at 60lbs now have poly at 58 but pain began with multi.

I cannot play for 5 days anyway so will see if it helps not playing.

So could this be just weak muscles not used to the load?

Appreciate advice. Would hate to have TE after just developing a passion for tennis.

Thanks

yemenmocha
02-16-2010, 01:15 PM
Describe the feel of the pain and be more precise about the location. Sounds like TE from initial comments.

Rest, ice it, maybe some ibuprofen, and ease back into it once the pain goes away.

Whether it is TE or just muscle soreness, it sounds like an overuse injury.

athiker
02-16-2010, 01:21 PM
Does the outside of your elbow hurt when you try to grip something firmly....even something like a firm handshake? The spot is outside elbow just in front of bony area...there is kind of a pocket there.

I think what you refer to by elbowing a bh is either hitting with too flexed an arm...try to get it straight by contact...or hitting a bh late so that again your arm is bent and you are using elbow to bring the ball around via straightening your arm...thus putting a lot of stress on the forearm tendon muscle at your elbow.

Usual recommendations are correcting form...don't hit 300 balls with improper form...and strengthening the forearm muscles to better handle the stress of the 1HBH stroke. It seems the first place that succumbs to excess stress in the forearm is the tendon where it attaches to the bone at the elbow. 1st order of business is form though...straight arm and don't hit late. Bigger muscles of the shoulder and core should be as involved as possible. Good luck.

xcourt4hand
02-16-2010, 01:57 PM
Sounds like TE to me - How old are you? What racket do you use?
My advice - ideally don't play at all until pain has gone then use stretching exercises or a thera-band to strengthen the tendon.

Then, the reduce the chances of getting it again, get rid of the Poly for a soft multi, reduce tension to at most, mid 50's (ideally less), heavier racket (around 320g, unstrung), warm-up properly with stretching, start hitting at 50% and step up gradually, don't play more than twice a week to start with for a couple of hours at a time (better still once a week), ice immediately after play, ice 3 times daily at other times and use stretching exercises daily (search the forum for examples of these) and pay particular attention to good footwork to reduce the chances of off-centre hits or cramped technique.

charliefedererer
02-16-2010, 07:13 PM
It's hard to say if you have a full blown case of tennis or golfer's elbow (both occur in tennis player's with tennis elbow on the inside ot the arm when the hands are pointed down, and golfer's elbow on the outside) already, but you could be on your way there.

Both tennis elbow and golfer's elbow occur because of the forces transmitted to the tendons where they insert into the bones around the elbow. These tendons are the continuation of the muscles of the forearm. Since you have just recently started tennis, this whole complex of forearm musculature, tendon's and insertion sites are experiencing forces that they are not used to.

So in addition to the above advice about rest, ice, proper technique and string/frame modifications, strongly consider doing some exercises (after the pain has gone away) to strengthen up the muscles/tendons for the work you are going to ask them to do as you enjoy your new passion. That is, you should be doing curls, reverse curls and wrist rotations with some fairly light weight dumbells or elastic tubing. These exercises may seem almost trivial compared to heavy weight lifting for big muscles, but your foream muscles aren't that large. And yet because they are last muscles resisting the forces of throwing your racquet so hard at the ball (and not letting go) they have to be fairly strong - or at least stronger than before you were playing tennis.

Also a relatively new exercise of twisting a Thera-Band Flexbar seems to provide a unique way of exercising these muscles. And of course there is the old standbys of hand grippers, or just squeezing a tennis ball.

And if you don't want to soon be experiencing shoulder problems, you may want to be doing all the exercises of the thrower's 10, and not just the ones that will strengthen the wrist and elbow areas: www.asmi.org/SportsMed/throwing/thrower10.html
(Just check the multiple threads on shoulder injuries affecting tennis players in this health and fitness forum, and try to avoid becoming one of them as your game improves and you can bash the ball even harder.)

ProgressoR
02-16-2010, 09:23 PM
Thanks all for input. In the 10 hours since posting pain is already significantly down. I have 4 days of forced rest due to work and will see how it goes. I will work on the muscle development. I hope its overuse. Anyway I have the basic groove for tspin and slice so will stop the 300 ball drills and just do general mixed rallies and hope pain doesn't come back.

Thanks again to all.
If pain doesn't go I will be very depressed but will just have to deal with it.

I will get soft strings and lower tension to mid 50's (currently 58-60). My prince ozone four weighs about 380g.

mikeler
02-17-2010, 06:52 AM
Thanks all for input. In the 10 hours since posting pain is already significantly down. I have 4 days of forced rest due to work and will see how it goes. I will work on the muscle development. I hope its overuse. Anyway I have the basic groove for tspin and slice so will stop the 300 ball drills and just do general mixed rallies and hope pain doesn't come back.

Thanks again to all.
If pain doesn't go I will be very depressed but will just have to deal with it.

I will get soft strings and lower tension to mid 50's (currently 58-60). My prince ozone four weighs about 380g.


That racket is head heavy and has a pretty high stiffness of 68. You should consider a softer, head light frame.

Ross K
02-17-2010, 06:57 AM
68 is indeed pretty stiff. I concur with above ^ post. Look for a frame with a lower stiffness RA.

JackB1
02-17-2010, 07:04 AM
Mishitting with the one-handed backhand is the fastest path to TE. Sounds like you definitley got it. I switched to the 2-hander for this reason alone. DEFINITELY get yourself a new racquet that is headlite and stiffness rating less than 65...58-62 is even better. And use a soft multi or gut strung at low tension. That racquet you are currently using isn't doing you any favors. If you like the Ozone, get yourself a Ozone Tour.

ProgressoR
02-20-2010, 09:45 PM
I had my first session since feeling the elbow pain, i told my coach, he said it is most likely from not having a full follow through, that sometimes i tend to stunt the follow through, and that places stress on the wrist and forearm muscles, i should follow through naturally and let the arm follow its momentum.

So i tried that, and we didnt too much hitting on the BH as i still felt a small twinge in my elbow. Anyway i wanted to start to learn to volley, so i spent the lesson doing that. FH and BH, really enjoyed it, didnt feel any impact on the elbow situation.

I still felt some little pain afterwards, coach advised to ice it, so I did. I mentioned about the equipment, the stiff racket, poly strings etc he said its more important to fix the stroke rather than tinker with equipment.

I am playing again tonight and the following two days, will only use the BH as it occurs during rallying, no drills on it, see how it goes.

Is a little pain OK - remember its still the first time i am learning to hit the BH properly so still using some new muscles in the forearm? should i be worried only if it gets painful again? or is any pain at all bad?

xcourt4hand
02-21-2010, 02:49 PM
obviously your coach knows more about your game, ability, technique, age etc so his advice is likely to be sound however as you are asking us on the forum, my advice is to do all you can to avoid the risk of TE so a 'multi-agency' approach would be best.

At least get rid of the poly and lower the tension even if you don't want to invest in a more arm friendly racket at the moment.

Believe me, avoiding TE in the first place is infinitely preferable to the long haul of treatment to get rid of it.

mikeler
02-21-2010, 05:40 PM
obviously your coach knows more about your game, ability, technique, age etc so his advice is likely to be sound however as you are asking us on the forum, my advice is to do all you can to avoid the risk of TE so a 'multi-agency' approach would be best.

At least get rid of the poly and lower the tension even if you don't want to invest in a more arm friendly racket at the moment.

Believe me, avoiding TE in the first place is infinitely preferable to the long haul of treatment to get rid of it.


Perfect response. This is one injury that just lingers forever if you keep playing.

ProgressoR
02-21-2010, 11:08 PM
obviously your coach knows more about your game, ability, technique, age etc so his advice is likely to be sound however as you are asking us on the forum, my advice is to do all you can to avoid the risk of TE so a 'multi-agency' approach would be best.

At least get rid of the poly and lower the tension even if you don't want to invest in a more arm friendly racket at the moment.

Believe me, avoiding TE in the first place is infinitely preferable to the long haul of treatment to get rid of it.

Good Advice. I played twice yesterday and once today, took it easy on the BH, there is still a bit of a dull pain, not worse than before. I am using Gamma zo twist for the last couple of weeks, reading about it I think its a stiff string. So today i plan to get some babolat touch VS 16 (its the only nat gut my local store has and I think its a good one looking at the net ratings). Its expensive but great reviews and very comfortable.

Will prob string at 56-58 lbs.

Hope that will help, will also keep an eye out for softer rackets, TE friendly, so far looks like PK make a good set and Volkl have the DNX 10 that sounds great, but I cannot get either in the mid east where i live, am trying to find a distributor in asia. I am focusing on heavier racket weight, Head light (i guess the higher the points the better here?) and softness, looks like 58-60 are the softest i can find.

ProgressoR
02-22-2010, 03:04 AM
So as well as putting gut in my current racket, i have decided to get a softer racket, my local store has a Prince Ex03 rebel 95, it has good specs, I cannot demo it, but will probably get it, its heavy and head light too, good for the arm and elbow.

Hopefully this will all help to get rid of the potential TE

athiker
02-22-2010, 06:29 AM
Looks like an excellent racket pick, I've never hit with it but people seem to love the Rebel 95. The specs do look great for being arm friendly.

The head size may be a little small for a beginner, but I remember when I started back playing everyone trying to steer me to a light big headed (105 or larger) racket. After demoing a ton of rackets I settled on a medium weight 100 sq inch head size racket so it may work out well for you. After reading reviews and owner comments it makes me want to run out and try a Rebel EXO3 95! Its supposed to have nice control and a big sweetspot. Good luck and have fun.

I've improved my technique and changed to softer string, but my racket (Bab APDC) is rated as pretty stiff. I also use the green Flexbar now. Good advice above, better to be proactive than reactive for this injury...TE hangs around for a long time once it gets a foothold!

ProgressoR
03-04-2010, 02:18 AM
So this week I focussed on massaging the muscle in forearm (that is actually where the pain was rather than near the tendons) combined with heat therapy, and the pain now has really gone from there. As a test, i do the dining chair test, grasping the top of the back with finger tips and thumb and lifting, the pain is now small and pretty much gone. Also, as much as a tried to resist, I continued playing tennis, played 4 consecutive days, and still the pain has gone, so that can only be good.

Only thing I feel now is a small but sharp pain right at the back of the elbow joint, but i think this is bursitis related, students elbow, related to working too much on PC and leaning on the desk, and not tennis related. Will continue to ice that and see how it goes.

And I am loving the ex03 rebel players racket, so soft on the arm and great control on shots, I definitely wont go back to the tweener stiff rackets!